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Immersion in the story is just icing on the cake

David Bowers

Chris Metzen and Alex Afrasiabi discussed with players at BlizzCon their desire for the World of Warcraft to be more immersive, for the characters to be more believable and relevant, and for the story to be more at the forefront, right alongside gameplay.

So now a professional screenwriter named Cocles submitted a suggestion on the forums as to how that feeling could be created, by letting the world's characters react to you in a more believable way. Here's one of his examples:

Think of how immersive it would be if you were to step into Outland and have Nazgrel look at you and say, "When I sent word to Orgrimmar that we needed more troops, I never dreamed they would send the slayer of C'thun himself to aid us. You will be a great asset to us Cocles, and I am glad to see you here!"

Had I not killed C'thun, or done anything else of note, Nazgrel could instead look me up and down and say, "Well grunt, let's see what you're made of."
Check out Blizzard's response beyond the jump...

Kisirani, who was behind the unfolding changes in the life of Griftah, as well as other immersive elements in the game (Blood Elf paladins over level 20: try to /eye a Silvermoon City guard and see what happens), says that they have already done quite a bit of this sort of thing in the Burning Crusade, notably with the Skyguard and Ogri'la factions. He says it may seem simple to add a lot of these fun conditional elements to the game, but it can actually take thousands of lines of code to manage it. It's something that the developers would really like to do more often, but it has to take a back seat when competing with actual new content:

Would you rather have one repeatable quest with everything that entails (one reputation gain, one reward) with this level of conditional content, or four quests (repeatable or otherwise) with four reputation gains and four rewards that had much less conditional content? In the end, no matter how many people we have working on a product, there will always be a limited timeframe in which to release content as we do not (yet) own a time machine. At present, while we certainly do dedicate manhours to the writing and creation of this immersive content you ask for, the majority of our time is focused on creating the actual content itself.
All this makes me wonder what Metzen and Afrasiabi actually had in mind when they said they wanted Azeroth to be more immersive and the story to be forefront. What sort of improvements are you hoping for?

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